A NEW book on ceramics called ‘Earth’s Treasures” written by Gilbert Chigbo has just been published. The book is an analysis of Nigeria’s ceramics industry.
“It is a compilation of the author’s articles, written over a period of time between the late 50s and 80s”, says the book’s publisher Enuma Chigbo.
“Yes, the articles were written a while ago, but these words I find very relevant, especially in our society today.”
The ceramics industry, which is Gilbert Chigbo’s focus, is a very old one, and worldwide in distribution. Sophisticated ceramic wares were produced in Middle East countries as far back as 4,000 years ago, while archaeologists have excavated porcelain articles made in China more than 5,000 years ago.
Nigerian pottery has been dated at 2,400 years or more. Publications of the Geological Survey of Nigeria, GSN, and of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, show that Nigeria is host to a plethora of raw materials suitable for the production of a very large number of ceramic products for which Nigeria has a great need.
The ceramics industry in Nigeria is slowly evolving, says Vincent Maduka, former director general of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, and one of the book’s editors. “While renowned individuals like Aliko Dangote, have made significant contributions to this industry in fairly recent times, it is important to know the history behind it all, and people who made part of that history.”
“Chigbo has written a very useful handbook for professionals and planners involved in the ceramics industry in Nigeria,” says Samuel Ibekwe, Belgium based author, who wrote the foreword. “In Nigeria where the principal activities in ceramics are in glass and cement manufacture, government planners are given a chance to understand what the rules are and where Nigeria stands today in raw material sourcing and manufacture of ceramics.”
Born in 1935 in Dutsin Wai, now Jigawa State, Gilbert Chigbo was educated at Kings College Lagos, University College lbadan, and the University of Sheffield, England. He holds degrees and professional qualifications in chemistry, ceramics and material science.
A large part of his working life was spent in industrial research and development in Nigeria’s premier institutions such as the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, FIIRO, and Projects Development Agency, PRODA, Enugu, where he served as deputy director and director, respectively.
He was a commissioner in different fields – Industry, Trade and Transport, Local Government and Social Development, Education and Information, in East Central and Anambra States in 1975-79.
In fairly recent years he’s concentrated on mineral based small and medium scale enterprises and in the translation of research into industrial enterprise.
“His qualifications clearly give this report the authenticity of a technical expert who knows his subject,” says Ibekwe.
“With the insurmountable issues Nigeria has in the oil sector, we really should be taking proactive steps towards other sources of revenue generation. This is what the author talks about in his series of articles –it’s about exploring the treasures underneath,” says Enuma Chigbo.
“The onus is on us – citizens of Nigeria, to look within, explore and exploit our natural resources to the fullest. With strategic investments and collaborations between both government and private sector, in harnessing the bountiful yet largely untapped potentials of the country’s ceramics industry, solutions may just be round the corner”.
“The benefits are endless – employment creation, wealth creation, enhancing the value of Nigerians especially the youths, holistic improvement in education, amongst other invaluable benefits. With this in view, ceramics can indeed be Nigeria’s new black gold.”
— Aug 17, 2016 @ 17:58 GMT